Easy Madeleine Recipe - Classic French Tea Cakes

Madeleines with tea
ingwervanille / Getty Images
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Chilling time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 24-28 cakes (24 to 28 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
96 Calories
6g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24-28 cakes (24 to 28 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 96
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Forget about cupcakes for a minute and think Madeleines instead! These spongy little French cakes are popular in Morocco, where they can be found home-baked or sold for a dirham or two at bakeries. Serve them for tea time, for breakfast, or as a snack.

Madeleines are quite easy to make, but you'll need to purchase scalloped Madeleine molds to get started. The molds are available in different sizes and materials, but you may find non-stick pans or silicone to be the easiest to use. 

The little cakes can be flavored in a variety of ways, but I like them best with fresh lemon zest. They're also delicious when prepared with orange zest or simply vanilla. Serve them unadorned, or give them a dusting of powdered sugar.

Plan ahead a bit, as you'll need to allow at least one hour for chilling the batter.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or orange zest)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted, melted and cooled)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted, for preparing the mold)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (for preparing the mold)
  • Optional: powdered sugar (for dusting the cakes)

Steps to Make It

While there are multiple steps to this recipe, these madeleines are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Prepare the Batter

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, or until thick and fluffy. 

  3. Mix in the vanilla and zest.

  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

  5. Gradually fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture with a large spatula. Do not over mix as you want the batter to retain its light, fluffy texture, but do be sure that all the flour is incorporated into the batter.

  6. Stir a spoonful or two of the batter into the melted butter.

  7. Then gradually fold the butter mixture into the batter. Avoid over mixing as you want the batter to be light.

  8. Cover and refrigerate the batter for an hour or longer.

Bake the Madeleines

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Reduce the heat slightly if using dark baking pans.

  2. Prepare your madeleine pans by brushing each mold generously with melted butter and dusting with flour. Tap out the excess flour and set the pans in the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the butter has firmed up.

  3. Spoon a dollop of batter – roughly a generous tablespoon for a 3-inch cake – into each mold; do not spread the batter.

  4. Bake the cakes for about 10 minutes or until light golden brown in color. The cakes should develop a hump which springs back when you lightly press on it. Do not over bake.

  5. Tap the pans on the counter to loosen the cakes, or use a thin spatula or knife to gently loosen each madeleine. Turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool.

  6. Serve warm or room temperature. If desired, garnish with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

  7. Pair with tea or coffee and enjoy! 


  • There is no need to grease and flour a silicone or mold.
  • Madeleines store for only a day or two at room temperature when well-covered. They can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag.